People’s Artist Dam Lien. (Photo: file photo)
Born in 1943 into a family of Tuong artists the central province of Phu Yen, Dam Lien had a great passion for the art from an early age. In 1958 she sat for university entrance exams in three subjects - dance, cinema, and classical drama. She passed all three exams, but decided to pursue studies in classical drama.
In her lifetime, Dam Lien gave notable performances in many classical pieces, including “Queen Trung Trac”, “Dao Phi Phung”, “Ho Nguyet Co turns into a fox”, and “Old man carries his wife on his back to a festival”.
In the early 1960s, Dam Lien and her husband, musician Vinh An, adapted “Tuong songs” from classical drama, which were recorded and broadcast by the Voice of Vietnam on its folk music program.
For more than 50 years working with VOV, Dam Lien performed hundreds of such songs.
“We were taught how to dance and perform Tuong professionally by Dam Lien. We learned many Tuong songs from her,” said People’s Artist Man Thu.
Dam Lien in the classical drama “Old man carries his wife on his back to a festival”.
Dam Lien won 7 gold medals and 2 silver medals in national contests and was awarded the State’s second-class Labor Order. She was named one of Vietnam’s most favorite artists in a survey in 1992.
“Many other artists have performed the classical drama roles performed by Dam Lien, but no one yet has equaled her, so strong was the impression she made on audiences,” said Mr. Pham Ngoc Tuan, Director of the Vietnam Tuong Theatre.
People’s Artist Dam Lien served on the Executive Board of the Vietnam Stage Artists Association and the Executive Board of UNESCO in Vietnam, and was head of the delegation of Preservation, Research and Promotion of National Culture. She also found time during her busy performing career to teach multiple generations of young Tuong performers.